Today we mark the seventh anniversary of one of the saddest days in US history. This day innocents in three locations in our country died. Let us spend our time today in reflection:

God, creator of all that is, we ask for your help today.  As we remember those who died this day, seven years ago, we seek your comfort. Uphold us as we reflect on the lives lost, and the families who grieve still. Open our hearts and minds to remember that our losses do not stand alone, but that untold numbers die each day in war and its aftermath. Grant us the wisdom to listen more than speak, and to realize that differences in culture, religion, or political system mean little to you. We are your children, and you love us all. Help us to be generous in thought, recognizing that all people want the same basic things in life. All people have dreams and desires for their families and themselves that are no different than those we have.

Give us the perseverance to eliminate poverty and disease from our world. Give us the empathy to avoid hatred and bigotry toward those that seem different but are not. Help us to uphold that every human being wherever they may be deserves adequate food, clothing, housing, education, health care, work that can be respected, religious freedom, and enjoyable leisure time.

Be the shoulder we can always lean on. Wipe away our tears and give us the heart to go forward, never forgetting that you are with us forever. May we strive to do your will at every moment, knowing that your will is most assuredly stated in the what Jesus told us. “Love God with all your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” Amen

**UPDATE:  visit Out of Nowhere for a wonderful reflection.